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LTR - Ibex Shak Jersey - Michael Lissner

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  • Michael Lissner
    Carol, here she be. No real need to get it done before your trip. We re well ahead of schedule as is. -mike PS I worry that this will have HTML troubles when
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2005
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      Carol, here she be. No real need to get it done before your trip. We're
      well ahead of schedule as is.


      PS I worry that this will have HTML troubles when it goes over to the
      yahoo! group. Apologies if that's the case.

      Short Version:

      Long Version:

      Long Term Report of
      Ibex Shak Jersey*
      By Michael Jay Lissner*
      1 April 2005

      *Contents of Report:*
      1. Tester Biographical Information
      2. Backpacking Background
      3. Product Information
      4. Product Description
      5. Conditions of Long Term Testing
      6. Results of Long Term Testing
      7. Conclusions


      *1. Tester Biographical Information*
      Name: Michael Jay Lissner
      Age: 22
      Gender: Male
      Height: 198 cm (6' 6")
      Weight: 88 kg (195 lb)
      Measurements: Chest: 104 cm (41"); Neck: 38 cm (15"); Sleeve: 86 cm (34")
      Body Fat Percentage: Roughly 14.5% as measured electronically.
      Build: My body is very tall and lean, making me very susceptible to cold
      weather and short sleeves.
      Email: yourmothership at hotmail dot com
      City of Current Residence: Berkeley, California (near the San Francisco
      Bay Area)
      [back to top]

      *2. Backpacking Background*
      I have been backpacking for the greater part of my life. I started with
      traditional backpacking with the Boy Scouts, but my current style is a
      highly minimalist one relying on more skill and discomfort and less on
      creature comforts and toys. Although my backpacking style is an evolving
      thing, at this point I usually clock in 27.4 km (17 mile) days with a
      base weight (without food or water) of about 4.6 kg (8 lb), including my
      tarp, frameless pack and down quilt. My usual stomping grounds are any
      of the terrain within three hours from the San Francisco Bay Area
      including Desolation Wilderness, Emigrant Wilderness, Point Reyes
      National Park, Yosemite and others.
      [back to top]

      *3. Product Information*
      Manufacturer: Ibex Outdoor Clothing, LLC
      Manufacturer's URL: http://www.ibexwear.com
      Product Name: Shak Jersey
      Size and Color Tested: Large, Cerulean Blue
      Advertised Dimensions: Chest: 107-112 cm (42-44"); Neck: 41-43 cm
      (16.5-17" ); Sleeve: 89-91 cm (35-36")
      Measured Dimensions (unstretched): Chest: 109 cm (43"); Neck: 46 cm
      (18"); Sleeve: 89 cm (35")
      Measured Dimensions (lightly stretched): Chest: 126 cm (50"); Neck: 56
      cm (22"); Sleeve: 99 cm (39")
      Advertised Weight: 11.5 oz /sq yd
      Measured Weight: 508 g (17.9 oz)*
      *Weight was measured on a Sunbeam digital scale that claims accuracy to
      1 g or .1 oz.
      [back to top]

      *4. Product Description*
      This is a merino wool jersey with a ½ zip. For a much more complete
      description of this jersey, please seek out my initial review
      or that of one of the other testers

      [back to top]

      *5. Conditions of Long Term Testing*
      Since the field report, I have been using this jersey quite a bit. I
      have used it both as an everyday layer, and also while running, hiking,
      backpacking and mountain biking. During each of these trials, I was able
      to learn a few things about the jersey. The majority of the time that I
      spent with this jersey was spent in the San Francisco Bay Area, and, the
      backpacking trips were to Big Sur State Park and Big Basin State Park.
      The temperatures during those trips tended to be around a high of 21 C
      (70 F) and a nighttime low of about 5 C (40 F). These are coastal areas,
      and the elevation of the trips that I took varied between about 10 m (30
      ft) to about 1000 m (3,300 ft). The terrain in these parks tend to vary
      a great deal, including conifer, oaks, chaparral and riparian habitats.
      [back to top]

      *6. Results of Long Term Testing*
      Overall, I find that I like this jersey quite a lot. It has a lot going
      for it. That said, I think it will soon be replaced by my old reliable
      fleece anorak. I've greatly enjoyed a number of the features of this
      jersey, but certain things about it make it less than ideal for

      Probably the biggest problem I have found with it is - somewhat
      surprisingly - water. I've worn it in a cold rain a couple of times. The
      first time, I was just hiking around, so I was able to take some risks
      with the water that I would not have taken if I were out backpacking. I
      let the rain come down on my shoulders for a little while to see how the
      jersey would handle it, and I'm sad to say that in short order the rain
      penetrated the jersey, soaked it through, and was instantly cold and
      clammy. In short, I was not impressed. The marketing blurb from Ibex's
      website says that "Dense knit breathable Merino sheds water, snow and
      wind". I have NOT found this to be true. I've noticed that winds go
      right through it, and that rain saturates it in minutes, leaving it very
      cold. What's worse, I've also noticed that it wicks rain. For instance,
      one of the times that I wore it in the rain, I put my Marmot Precip
      jacket over the top of it, and after about thirty minutes of wet hiking,
      I noticed that the cuffs has been slightly exposed, and that they had
      wicked water upwards several inches under the waterproof jacket - not
      cool, especially when you're trying to stay warm in the rain.

      The other problem this causes, in addition to being cold is something
      that I mentioned in my Field Report. This jacket does not dry very
      quickly at all, and cannot be thrown in a dryer to speed things up. Once
      it gets wet, it shall remain wet until the cold weather has passed. Of
      the four times that I have washed this jersey at my house, never has it
      dried overnight, even during warm weather. On average, it has taken
      about a day and a half to dry out completely after going through the
      spin cycle. At longest, it took three days to dry completely while
      hanging in my house.

      In regards to wind, I've also noticed a problem here. Even though it
      does have a fairly dense knit, wind can definitely penetrate this jersey
      without too much trouble. I haven't been out in too many strong winds
      with this jersey, but the light winds that I have been in were able to
      get through the jersey at my skin. This, however is also a good thing,
      because one of the things that I like best about this jersey is the very
      fact that it adjusts to heat output very nicely, which is to say that if
      I put it on in the morning while leaving camp, I can usually wear it
      almost until noon before I start heating up too much. By pushing up the
      sleeves (that stay up all day) and unzipping the zipper, this jersey
      adjusts marvelously to varying temperatures. In fact, I've never worn
      anything that adjusts so well, and I believe it is because of the
      ability of my body heat to get out of the jersey while hiking.

      On the subject of the sleeves staying up, that's one other thing that I
      ought to mention. Every time that I've washed this jersey it has shrunk
      a little bit, only to stretch out again the first time that I wore it
      afterwards. Not a big deal, but something to note. I also noted that the
      sleeves of this jersey never lost their stretch, which was very nice.
      They comfortably go up over my forearms and stay there for as long as I
      want them to. I should note here that the reason I have washed this
      jersey three of the four times was not because it got smelly, but rather
      because it got muddy while mountain biking. In fact, this is another of
      the properties that I like best about this garment. It simply does not
      get smelly. I've worn it a lot, and often while running, or under a
      smelly synthetic shirt and it just remains odorless. I washed it once
      towards the middle of the test series just for good measure, again not
      because it was smelly.

      There are two other things I should mention about this jersey. The first
      is that it is the only piece of gear that I own that I can wear in good
      faith to informal parties. It's a stylish garment, and surprisingly
      enough, I like looking good while out on the trail. The slightly tight
      fit is great, even though the neck is a bit loose, and the clean design
      is quite nice.

      The second thing that I should mention is something that I need to
      revisit from the earlier reports. I noted in the Initial Report that
      some of the cuffs had unraveled a little bit, and even included a
      picture of the threads. Since that time, I've kept my eye on this, and
      noticed it get progressively worse. I have several times noticed inches
      of thread hanging off one of the seams, with the worst offender being a
      section of one of the cuffs that has come undone to some extent. It
      seems that the seams on this garment have been sewn with a natural fiber
      (I'm guessing wool), and they don't seem to be holding up. I've noticed
      that they come undone, but I've also noticed that they get caught on the
      hooks of hook and loop tape far too easily. My gloves have hooks on the
      back of them to make them stick to the shells they go inside of, and
      these hooks have consistently caught on the wool. In addition to this,
      it seems that the seam around the bottom of the jersey has gotten rather
      frayed all across the front, I'm guessing as a result of being under the
      [back to top]

      *7. Conclusions*
      After having used this jersey for a number of months, I have come to the
      conclusion that it has some great properties, like the ability to adjust
      to heat output, and the great fit, but also that it has some serious
      difficulties coping with wind and water. I like this jersey for hard
      exercise like running and mountain biking, but for backpacking, I find
      it to be too vulnerable to weather changes.

      Thanks to Ibex and BGT for this test series.
      [back to top]


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